Ladbrokes Norwegian Struggle Continues (Update)
November 17, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — The U.K. gambling group Ladbrokes is back in the fight for access to the Norwegian market, and has given notice that it intends to appeal an adverse October finding by the Oslo City Court that denied it a betting license (see previous reports).
Ladbrokes instituted legal proceedings after Norwegian authorities turned down its application for a betting license in June of 2004.
"We are appealing the judgment because the Court's assessment of the evidence doesn't relate directly to our case," said John O'Reilly, Managing Director of Remote Betting and Gaming for Ladbrokes this week. "Vital aspects in the European Free Trade Association-law court judgment of May of 2007 have not been taken into consideration, and the judgment is solely built on the national 'slot machine case' of March of 2007, which is not relevant to our application.
"The monopoly laws in Norway conflict with the European Union Treaty, particularly with regard to the principles of freedom of establishment and the free movement of services. We continue to challenge for our right to be regulated in Norway and to provide free and fair competition to the monopoly."
Jan Magne Juuhl-Langseth, counsel for Ladbrokes in Norway, added: "Ladbrokes have decided to appeal, particularly because the City Court has not assessed the Norwegian monopoly in the light of the guidance given previously by the European Free Trade Association court in Luxembourg."
"Just because a monopoly is considered legitimate by the Norwegian State doesn’t make it right," opined Lasse Dilschmann, Chief Executive Officer for Ladbrokes' Nordic operations. "We are looking forward to seeing our case being tested in the Court of Appeal."